RUSHVILLE – In the fall of 2018, Lilly Endowment Inc. announced the latest installment of their “Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow” initiative, GIFT VII. It included receiving a matching grant of $500,000, which contributors made possible by donating $250,000 toward our Community Grants funds.

The Rush County Community Foundation is one of 17 Indiana community foundations to advance to the next stage of its large scale funding component of GIFT VII Community Leadership Grants. Through this component of GIFT VII, the Endowment has allocated up to $31.6 million to encourage community foundations to develop and implement ideas that promote broader and more substantial impact in their communities.

These community foundations have proposed ideas that address a range of priorities, including neighborhood revitalization, arts and culture, quality of life, early childcare, education, and workforce development, among others.

The Endowment anticipates announcing large-scale funding opportunity grant awards later in 2020.

Also available are additional grants for community leadership development, a board matching grant, a $100,000 implementation grant and a $5M large-scale funding opportunity.

In 1998, Dick and Sue Moster, long-time RCCF supporters and beloved community members, decided to include local organizations in their estate plan by establishing a Charitable Remainder Trust. It was a way for them to continue to receive an income while still providing for the charities they loved. After Dick passed away in late 2017, several RCCF Organization Funds received this legacy gift, including what would become the Rushville/Rush County Community Center Fund.

By chance and fortunate timing, in early 2019 a few months after the GIFT VII announcement, Dan Moster, Dick and Sue’s son, reached out to Alisa Winters at RCCF to restart the conversation around a community center for Rushville. In GIFT VII, RCCF saw an opportunity to help Dan bring his family’s and our community’s dream to life.

“During my term as the Rushville Director of Parks and Recreation (1992-95), I witnessed both a strong interest and need the residents had for more activities and facilities/amenities within the community and the city parks system,” Dan said. “Now is the time that the residents of Rushville and Rush County have a community center built, so they too can live a healthier and more enjoyable life and lifestyle and experience the benefits as an individual, couple, family, senior citizen and community, no matter of age, financial situation or physical ability.”

After countless hours and meetings and with help from an army of local leaders and partners, RCCF submitted a $5M funding proposal in March of this year just before the pandemic took hold. Earlier this summer, RCCF learned that the application was one of 17 that had been chosen to advance to the final round.

The proposed community center will have something for everyone. It will have an indoor pool, a fitness center, basketball courts, daycare, the library, a technology center, the food pantry, offices for other social services, a cafe and more. It will be a place to come together and elevate the well-being of all. It will provide health and recreation opportunities for our current residents and hope to help attract new residents. More residents will attract new businesses that bring new jobs.

The RCCF will submit its final proposal on Aug. 28.

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